Design and sample characteristics of the PRISM-E multisite randomized trial to improve behavioral health care for the elderly.
To describe the design of the Primary Care Research in Substance Abuse and Mental Health for Elderly (PRISM-E) study and baseline characteristics of the randomized primary care patients with mental health problems and at-risk alcohol use. Adults aged 65 and older were screened at primary care clinics from 10 study sites throughout the United States. Those diagnosed for depression, anxiety, and/or at-risk alcohol consumption were randomized to either integrated or enhanced referral care. Of the 23,828 participants, 14% had a positive assessment for depressive and/or anxiety disorders, and 6% had at-risk alcohol consumption diagnoses. Among patients with mental health diagnoses, there was a higher preponderance of younger ages, women, and ethnic minorities. Among patients with at-risk drinking, there was a higher preponderance of younger ages, Whites, and men. These findings indicate the need for screening in primary care and for engaging older adults in treatment.